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General and Artistic Director

David Holley

David Holley was appointed as the Artistic Director of Greensboro Opera in June, 2013 and promoted to General and Artistic Director in March of 2018. The Director of Opera at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro since 1992, David has stage directed throughout the United States, including eight years as the Resident Stage Director at the Brevard Music Festival. In addition to Greensboro Opera mainstage productions, his directing credits include engagements with the Pensacola Opera, Opera Roanoke, Baylor University, Furman University, and the annual Eastern Music Festival/Greensboro Opera collaborations, including last summer's Shave and a Haircut. In 2009, he produced and directed and wrote the libretto for the world premiere of Picnic, an opera by prominent American composer Libby Larsen, commissioned by the UNCG School of Music. Mr. Holley was President of the National Opera Association from 2014 2016.

His UNCG productions have consistently won awards in the National Opera Association's annual Opera Production Competition, including seven first place and five second place NOA awards. In 2005, four audio excerpts from UNCG's production of Adamo's Little Women (which he conducted) were released and distributed to opera companies world-wide on "Thirty New Operas," a CD sampler produced by G. Schirmer, Inc.

Mr. Holley has appeared throughout the US and Canada in a diversity of leading lyric tenor roles including Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Don José in Carmen, Tamino in The Magic Flute and the title roles in The Tales of Hoffmann and Roméo and Juliette. Notable engagements have included Cavaradossi opposite Angela Brown's Tosca, Don José with Luretta Bybee and Herbert Perry (directed by David Morelock), as well as Pinkerton with Nikki Li Hartliep. Reviewing his performance in Wiener Blut, The American Record Guide said, "tenor David Holley as the Count with the roving eye was ringing, wide-ranging, hale and hearty: a vivid characterization," and in the title role in Der Vogelhändler, "a singing and acting delight." Opera News has hailed him as "...that rare find, a tall tenor who can act."

David's artistic innovations include:

  • Producer for Greensboro Opera's Opera at the Carolina since 2002, introducing live opera to over 90,000 children during that time.
  • Co-Founder of Greensboro Opera's "Barbara Ann Peters Write Your Own Opera Contest," which for the past eight years has enabled a Guilford County student to write a story which is then turned into an opera performed at Opera at the Carolina. David has written the librettos, collaborated with UNCG composer colleagues Drs. Mark Engebretson and Alejandro Rutty, and produced and staged these works.
  • In April of 2009, he produced, directed and wrote the libretto for Libby Larsen's Picnic, which was commissioned and premiered by the UNCG School of Music, funded by a $150,000 grant from the Charles Babcock Foundation.
  • Founder and artistic director of Greensboro Light Opera and Song, including the Young Artist Training Program.
  • Founder and director of the Charles A. Lynam Vocal Competition, which had winners go on to sing at the MET, La Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera and other important theatres worldwide.

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